There is a young woman who pushes her baby boy in a stroller past our gate almost every day. The boy is quite bright - as evidenced by his interest in dogs - so they stop to visit me each time.
Last month, one of Pandabonium's dear nephews had a baby (well, his nephew's wife did most of the work), and the baby is of course getting lots of attention. It is probably good that they don't also have a dog, because dogs can become jealous and even neurotic by the irrational amount of attention given babies at the expense of quality time with the dog. This is due to the fact that dogs develop at much faster rate than do babies and therefore feel superior to them in every way.
Here is the new baby in Pandabonium's nephew's family. Her name is Tara.
Cute? Of course. Very. But let's compare the development of dogs and babies and see just why it is difficult for a dog to understand what all the fuss is about. The following is from the most excellent book "How to Live with a Neurotic Dog" by Stephen Baker:
Baby - He breathes with regularity. He can cry and open his eyes wide. He can turn his head.
Dog - He breathes with regularity. He can cry and open his eyes wide. He can turn his head.
Baby - He can turn over to his back and try sitting up. His eyes follow a moving object, and he may even reach out for it. But he cannot grasp it, for all his ten fingers.
Dog - The puppy can walk steadily across the room, sit, lie down, and stand up. He can follow a moving object with his eyes and, if it is food, grasp it.
Baby - The baby can sit up, but he still topples over. He can reach for desired object and bring it to his mouth. He can even grab his feet and put them in his mouth as he lies on his back.
Dog - At this age, a puppy can do many things. He can get under blankets. He can chew up books, shoes, and carpets. He is smart enough not to waste time sucking his feet.
Baby - The baby creeps about freely on hands and knees. He is beginning to discover the world at his own pace: slowly.
Dog - The dog can now run so fast that his master can no longer catch him. He knows all he needs to know.
Baby - The baby finally understands part of what is being said. He is even able to utter a few words, even if they do not make sense. Lost for words, he giggles.
Dog - The dog understands everything that is said. He even understands that at times it is wiser to pretend he doesn't understand and keep his nozzle shut.
Is it any wonder a dog could become frustrated, even neurotic? Happily, I don't face that situation and Pandabonium and K recognize my abilities and take care of all my needs. I post this as advice for any of you humans out there who may consider having babies and dogs at the same time. Please do not neglect your dog, but reassure him/her that they too are a valued member of the family.
And welcome to the world Tara! Don't take any nonsense from your big brother Anthony (I don't think he'll give you any). But if you need advice, call up your cousin Grace who also has an older brother and has learned how to manage the situation quite well.